1. Cut back expenses without cutting out services Cutting costs is the obvious place to start when you want to save for a down payment. When you eliminate an expense, you can move that money over to your savings. Look at the costs in your budget you know you wouldn’t miss — and cut Read More

  1. Set a specific goal It’s hard to make a plan of action if you don’t know where you want to go. Look at how much it will cost you to buy a home in 2017. What amount of money do you need to save for that down payment? Your best option is to Read More

3 Secret Features That Help You Get a Feel for the Neighborhood Facebook’s secret feature: City Guides Best for: Finding the places in a neighborhood where locals actually go. While Facebook has positioned City Guides as a travel-planning resource, the guides are actually a helpful street-level window into twenty cities such as Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Houston, Read More

Americans love living by the ocean Dreaming of a home with sea breezes? You’re not alone. There’s something about the ocean—beauty, power, a calming rhythm—that we can’t seem to resist. According to the most recent data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 39 percent of Americans live on the coast—not just in coastal states, but close enough to see Read More

  1. Predicting interest rates can help strengthen your strategy Predictions are just educated guesses, and relying on a guess isn’t wise. But there’s still a lot of value in making these predictions. “It can help us think through what we might do if the interest rates go up, down, or sideways,” explains Meg Bartelt, Read More

What’s your best advice to a first-time homebuyer? “Be prepared; do your homework. Check out reputable lenders in your area. Get prequalified so that you know the price range in which you should be shopping.” — Cathy Blocker, EVP, Production Operations of Guild Mortgage Company “Talk to a local mortgage banker that you’re comfortable with! Read More

What was your first home-buying experience like? The first home that Scott and I purchased together was a small, two-bedroom condo in our favorite Chicago neighborhood, Logan Square. It was right around the corner from the apartment we were renting at the time, and it was everything we were looking for in a starter home: Read More

  1. Rates are still offsetting higher prices Even with home prices inching up from last year, they don’t wash away the huge cost savings lower mortgage rates offer. In fact, according to Trulia’s report, for households putting down 20%, with plans to stay at least seven years, buying is on average 37.7% cheaper than Read More